It’s still “summer beaches” along the North Shore, the craggy shoreline at Rocky Point buried under tons of off-season sand dunes and, yep, you can almost walk out to the line-up at Off-The-Wall dry past your knees. That First Swell moment that defines the end of summer and the beginning of Hawaii’s North Shore season has yet to come crashing in, but that didn’t stop the kids. They took advantage of a northerly trickle at Sunset for Day One of the Billabong Junior Pro In memory of Ronnie Burns and blew it up for Round One and the Girls division final.
Val’s reef, in the shadow of Sunset Beach, was the cutting board where the ladies shredded their own private line-up to oblivion with a final that raised the bar in good old smack-down style and aggression. Thirteen year-old Alessa Quizon took off and ran away with the 30-minute duel from the starting horn, giving the other three finalists a distancing challenge to the final blast. Kauai’s Leila Hurst placed second. Both girls will represent Hawaii at the upcoming Billabong World Junior Championship in Australia in January ’08. California’s Sage Erickson grabbed third and Maui’s Monica Byrne-Wickey was fourth. The junior men get their big shot at fame in less than 24 hours with a northwest swell due in for the weekend, summer conditions in place and that high bar already in place by the ladies’ exciting finish.